Dave Mehlman

dve-mehlmanDave Mehlman is director of The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, an MS from Florida State University, and a BA from Bowdoin College. Dave directs the Migratory Bird Program’s Gulf Wings project, represents the Conservancy on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and serves as the Conservancy’s staff person on the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. He is also a member of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Recovery Team, established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He has published numerous papers in both scientific and popular journals on birds, bird conservation and ecology.

Dave's Posts

Guatemala: Next “Hot” Birding/Ecotourism Destination?

March 17th, 2009

I recently returned from participating in the 5th International Bird Watching “Encounter” in Antigua, Guatemala.  The encounters have been developed by the Guatemalan National Bird Watching Roundtable (Mesa Nacional de Aviturismo) with the assistance of INGUAT, the Guatemalan Tourism Institute. Based on this visit, I am convinced that Guatemala is ready to go as a major destination for […] More

Canaries in the Climate Change Coal Mine?

February 23rd, 2009

My colleagues at National Audubon have just released a detailed analysis of the response of birds in North America to climate change — you can read the full report here.  A lot of my past research has been in the field of biogeography and changes in avian distribution, so I find this work very exciting […] More

Get Native, Backyard Birders!

February 17th, 2009

The February 2009 issue of Conservation Biology has a research paper on the impacts of native plants on birds and butterflies in the suburbs of southeastern Pennsylvania. To my knowledge, this is the first scientific study to compare “standard” landscaping (lawns, ornamental trees and shrubs) with “native” landscaping (using grasses and other groundcovers, shrubs and […] More

Forensic Ornithology: When Birds Strike Planes

February 2nd, 2009

(Above: Video of a bird strike and subsequent crash of an BAE Hawk airplane. The bird strike can be seen at the 0:06-0:07 mark. The training pilot and the instructor ejected safely.) The crash several weeks ago of the US Airways jet into the Hudson River off Manhattan reminded me of the necessity of a rather […] More

The Christmas Bird Count: 109 Years Old and Still Going

January 6th, 2009

The 109th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) — the North American continent’s longest-running wildlife census — officially ended today.  I just returned from my 3rd (and favorite) CBC yesterday: the Janos/Ejido San Pedro count in Chihuahua, Mexico. The CBC is a tradition that began in 1900 and has now expanded to numerous countries throughout the Western […] More

The Bar-Tailed Godwit: An Amazing Avian Traveler

December 11th, 2008

  I’ve been a birder and bird conservationist for years, but every now and then something really incredible comes along. In this case, its the story of the Bar-tailed Godwit that traveled non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand (11,700 km), then from New Zealand to China (10,300 km), and then from China back to Alaska […] More

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